The Corpus Parisinum is the name given by 19th century scholars to the collections contained in cod. Par. gr. 1168, later discovered also in cod. Bodl. Digby 6. The Corpus Parisinum is a gnomologium, or a series of gnomologia, i.e. collections containing relatively brief excerpts, maxims, anecdotes and aphorisms. There are over 2000 such selections in the Corpus Parisinum attributed to hundreds of authors and historical figures, ranging from the archaic Greek poet Theognis down to the ecclesial writer John Climax. The selections are all in Greek and attributed nearly exclusively to Greeks, with minor exceptions such as Cato and Cicero. The Corpus Parisinum has been utilized for the standard editions of Stobaeus (Hense), fragments of the Pre-Socratics (Diels), the monostichs of Menander (Jaekel), among others. However, the corpus as a whole has never before been edited, despite continued references to it, e.g. in the most recent collection of fragments of Greek Comic Poets (Poetae Comici Graeci, ed. Kassel / Austin). At the beginning of the 20th century, the German scholar, Anton Elter, announced his forthcoming edition, but this never reached publication. The present edition is the first one to make the complete text available to scholars.
The Corpus Parisinum occupies an important place in the history of medieval Greek florilegia and anthologies, because, as previous scholars such as Elter proved, it was the chief source of the profane or pagan selections in the widely circulated Loci Communes of pseudo-Maximus and related compilations, such as that attributed to Antonius Melissa. Both these latter works have frequently been used by editors of the fragments of lost works, though not always with an understanding of their underlying sources.
The Corpus Parisinum includes a collection of Christian texts from the Bible, various Church Fathers and Philo. This part occupies about one-fourth of the total. After a brief series of theosophic oracles, the remainder is taken up by a significant collection of excerpts arranged by author (Plutarch, Aristotle, Isocrates, Democritus etc.), then a significant extract from Stobaeus, a version of the Gnomologium Byzantinum (Democritus-Isocrates-Epictetus), then a collection of anecdotes and apophthegms related to the Gnomologium Vaticanum and, finally, over 300 monostichs of Menander.
In the introduction to the edition, a brief synopsis of the Greek gnomological tradition is offered, along with a survey of scholarship and a discussion of the methodological difficulties pertaining to the editing of gnomological and anthological texts. The critical edition which follows provides an innovative four-level apparatus. A working translation to English and a commentary offering the reader orientation regarding the various selections are supplied in Volume Two, along with extensive appendices and indices.
This edition will be of interest for scholars working on the reception of classical culture, in anthologies and similar forms of indirect textual transmission for a variety of authors, and even for those working more with the history of ideas and ethical traditions.
Lewiston New York: Edwin Mellen Press , 2007. , 1000 p.